Anxiety playing off symptoms?

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Anxiety playing off symptoms?

Postby juli847 on November 29th, 2004, 6:46 pm

I went to the doctor a couple days a go (first visit dealing with this) He could tell I was panicky about the whole thing and told me that a lot of time anxiety will play off the symptoms making them worse. Is this possible? So, the more one dwells on the symptoms the more symptoms you will get? What do you think?
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Postby Stephanie on November 29th, 2004, 8:55 pm

Absolutely. The mind is extremely powerfull.
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Stress and anxiety

Postby Davey on November 30th, 2004, 1:46 pm

Yes, it is possible, and likely, that your anxiety is exacerbating your twitching, and that in turn exacerbates your anxiety. This creates a vicious cycle, until you work yourself into a continuous panic.

When the body is under stress, it begins dumping lots of hormones and other goodies into your blood system. It is like the "fight-or-flight" response you get when someone startles you. I got this from a mind-body website:

When our fight or flight response is activated, sequences of nerve cell firing occur and chemicals like adrenaline, noradrenaline and cortisol are released into our bloodstream. These patterns of nerve cell firing and chemical release cause our body to undergo a series of very dramatic changes. Our respiratory rate increases. Blood is shunted away from our digestive tract and directed into our muscles and limbs, which require extra energy and fuel for running and fighting. Our pupils dilate. Our awareness intensifies. Our sight sharpens. Our impulses quicken. Our perception of pain diminishes. Our immune system mobilizes with increased activation. We become prepared—physically and psychologically—for fight or flight. We scan and search our environment, "looking for the enemy."

When our fight or flight system is activated, we tend to perceive everything in our environment as a possible threat to our survival. By its very nature, the fight or flight system bypasses our rational mind—where our more well thought out beliefs exist—and moves us into "attack" mode. This state of alert causes us to perceive almost everything in our world as a possible threat to our survival. As such, we tend to see everyone and everything as a possible enemy. Like airport security during a terrorist threat, we are on the look out for every possible danger. We may overreact to the slightest comment. Our fear is exaggerated. Our thinking is distorted. We see everything through the filter of possible danger. We narrow our focus to those things that can harm us. Fear becomes the lens through which we see the world.

Pretty much sums up the fear of ALS a lot of us have. The only problem is that the enemy is fear itself -- a phantom menace.

You should think about engaging in stress relieving activities -- exercise, yoga, meditation. The long term consequences of stress and anxiety are debilitating -- hypertension, immunity suppression, etc. :cry:


Proud sufferer of Cramp-Fasciculation Syndrome since June 2001.

"Do not fear death tomorrow so much that you forget to live today."
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Postby BTS on December 8th, 2004, 10:16 pm

Dave is right-on here in his post. Experience has taught me that anxiety can and will cause symptoms to exacerbate, last longer, and if you don't fight it, it will become physically and emotionally debilitating.

There are many, many reasons to do your individual best in NOT letting anxiety take a firm hold. It will take you to places you don't want to go and will make you absolutely miserable and not able to enjoy the moment.

Take good care, and try to relax the best you can.

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